Before they checked out of the Ahlberg Hotel, Sander offered to assist with their travel plans. With the technology of his ipad, this time it was to help them drive from Amsterdam to Leiden. The route, at least on the map, was clearly marked. It looked like a short trip but with lots of twists and turns.
The Renault rental car had been the cheapest one that Budget Auto te Huur had available. It was short, boxy-looking with a suspension system that would make a MAC truck proud and a benzene engine that wound up tight at ninety kilometers per hour.
Manny agreed to ride shot gun in the suicide seat and help Selma navigate. Somehow and with a minimum of yelling at each other they got to the ring around Amsterdam and merged on to A4 toward Den Haag-Centrum, Leiden-West. A little more yelling and slowing down brought them to exit 8 onto N206 toward Leiden-Utrecht. With only about 10 minutes left of Sander’s estimated time of arrival they hoped they were getting close to the end of their travel travail.
The first stop in Leiden was to be Het Rode Huis, a bed and breakfast at Rapenburg 75. They were expecting something better than the hotel with a broken toilet seat or a youth hostel since Leiden was a famous University town.
When they were getting close to the right address, Manny, with a grunt of relief, offered,
“The web said it was canal-side, centrally located and very close to the University.”
“It looks promising. I hope we can find a parking place.”
“ As short as the distances are here, they sure pack in a lot of anxiety and excitement. “
“ Yeah. Bumper to bumper at 100 to 120 doesn’t leave a lot of time for decision-making, but we made it intact.”
Checking in was a breeze. The over-friendly hosting couple speaking English promised to be just what they needed after the hair-raising trip from Amsterdam.
Het Rode Huis had three rooms to rent and the studio was available. Fortunately, it fit what was left of Manny and Selma’s meager and waning budget.